My business has running now for 20 years and I can honestly say one of the hardest, yet most productive, things to do in business (and in life) is to stay organised. Thanks to technology, having the tools and systems in place to be organised is actually easier than ever before. But having so many tools at your disposal can also be a challenge – which tools work best? Should I pay for productivity apps? How many systems do I need?
I wanted to share with you some of the tools I’ve used this year and systems I have in place that help me, and the business, stay productive and organised instead of constantly rifling through files and papers and endless To Do lists.
1. When you decide on a system, stick to it for everything
Simplicity is key. And while we’re obviously an advocate for everything digital, it’s not necessarily right for everyone, or for everything you do. One of the things I absolutely have to have, which is not digital, is a paper planner. I make sure it’s small enough to fit in my everyday bag, but large enough that I can write lots in it. This year I have loved the Kikki K colour diary which don’t look like they’re available yet for 2020 but I’ll definitely be looking at getting another one again. It has a monthly calendar, a daily checklist section, a monthly ‘To Do’ page coupled with a week-to-a-page. I can write appointments, projects to dos, track my daily habits, all in one place #winner. And it comes with cute colourful stickers which we love!! #colouriseverything
Fun fact: One of our girls is left-handed and needs a spiral-bound diary and notebooks otherwise she can’t write all the way to the middle!!
2. If you need to work on projects with multiple people, choose your productivity app wisely.
Working with so many different clients, we’ve seen our fair share of productivity apps and one thing is for certain – it’s definitely not a one size fits all approach. When it comes to team productivity, everyone is going to respond differently to different systems so you really need to find the one that works best for most of your team. We tried a few systems recently and the one that really floats our boat is monday.com. We love the simple layout, the colour-coded lists, email and app notifications and the customisable dashboards.
3. Save time with integrated time-tracker and invoicing apps
If you bill clients by the time you spent, a time tracker app can actually be really efficient. One like Harvest can even integrate your billing data and let you change hourly rates between clients, saving you a lot of time at the end of every month.
4. Outsource everything you can!
Anything you can do that saves yourself precious hours is worth it. I love doing my grocery shopping online in front of Netflix on a Sunday night – the ultimate multi-task. They keep a record of every shop so often I just go to my saved lists and add to cart whatever I need for that week. Of course outsourcing transcription if you’re a small business that records lots of interviews, focus groups, meetings or patient notes is a huge time-saver as well.
What are your best organisation tips?
I’d love to hear from you on what you do to stay organised or save yourself more time.